Mosh Pit Etiquette: How to Protect Your Piercings

Photo by Evgeniy Smersh on Unsplash

Photo by Evgeniy Smersh on Unsplash

Rocking out, while keeping your piercings in

Piercings and mosh pits are two things that are synonymous with the rock scene. It doesn’t matter what rock sub-genre you are a part of, piercings are a staple in these communities and will most likely make their presence known.

More than just fashion accessories, piercings - especially facial and visible ones, are a way to reject and steer away from the norms of society. This is similar to the large amounts of people with lots of tattoos in these sub-genres. 

For people who are a part of the many rock subcultures, like punk, emo, grunge, and alternative to name a few, frequenting rock shows is a must, as the music is the blood that flows in a fan’s veins. These shows are a time when they can be their true self while having fun with like-minded people. 

When you go to a rock concert, more often than not you’re going to witness or participate in a mosh pit, and if you have piercings you need to be cautious in order to keep your piercings from getting pulled out or damaged during the shows. 

David Tejas of The Casualties at Punk Rock Bowling 2023 photo by Isaac Kuhlman

What you need to know about mosh pits

When you are a fan of rock music, regular dancing is not something that you would associate with the sounds and vibes of a rock show. You will definitely see people headbands, moshing, participating in the wall of death, circle pits, and sometimes even a style of ‘dancing’ known as hardcore. 

These styles all stem from a style of ‘dancing’ known as pogo, which originated in the 1970s punk scene. From an outsider's perspective, these styles of dancing are considered to be violent, but there are rules and etiquette that's attached to it. While you follow the etiquette, there is no guarantee others will as well. 

Piercings that are most at risk in pits

Every piercing comes with some kind of risk, however, in mosh pits where the atmosphere is a bit more aggressive, you have to be concerned about any piercing that is exposed and fixed with dangly or loop jewelry. 

Be especially careful of facial piercings and those that are on soft skin tissue. 

Fans at Punk Rock Bowling 2023 photo by Isaac Kuhlman

How to maintain your piercing when moshing

There are two ideal options for moshers, try to remove the piercings that are most at risk when going to a show, or alternatively, abstain from moshing.

You can also place band-aids over the piercing, but they may not look very good.

When you can, opt for studs over loops, as they are more likely to snag on stray hair or jewelry.

For example, if you have a septum ring, especially the curved barbell type, you can flip it up into your nostrils. This is usually done to hide the piercing, but in this case, you’re preventing any rips or pulls. 

Navigating fresh piercings and mosh pits

When you have fresh piercings, you already need to be concerned about aftercare factors like infections, rejections, keloids, and the like. Going to a show and contemplating on moshing is now an added concern. 

The best advice when dealing with a new piercing would be to not mosh at all. You can still have fun while at a show and enjoy the music, this is just to ensure that your piercings don’t get hurt and make the healing period much longer than that. 

If you are over the initial healing period, change your piercings to studs or smaller jewelry to prevent snagging in the pit. 

Unfortunately, you shouldn’t put band-aids over fresh piercings. So you'd rather be safe than sorry. Your main focus should be on your piercing healing and aftercare.


If you’re concerned about your piercings, catching a show from the sidelines isn’t a bad idea. But if you wanna get in on the action in a mosh pit, then you should be way of any and all visible piercings that you have. Swap loops and rings for studs, or cover them up with band-aids to prevent skin tearing from occurring. 

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